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Bronchoscopy facts for kids

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Lung cancer in L. Bronchus - bronchoscopic view
A view of cancerous growths in the airway of the left lung, as seen through a bronchoscope.

Bronchoscopy is a medical procedure which is used to look at the inside of a person's airway's. It can be used to see the inside of the trachea, and the bronchi and bronchioles within the lungs. There are three types of bronchoscopy: rigid, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy and CT virtual bronchoscopy (CTVB).

Rigid bronchoscopy

Rigid bronchoscopy is a straight rigid tube used to see into the trachea and proximal bronchi. It is usually done in an operating room under general anesthesia. It is usually used when there is a blockage in either the trachea or the primary bronchi. The diameter of the tube is large enough to insert instruments to remove obstructions.

Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy

During the procedure, a thin, flexible fiberoptic tube called a bronchoscope. is passed through the nose or mouth nose into the airways. The bronchoscope has a light and a camera which lets the doctor see into the airway.

A doctor using a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope to explore the airways.

CT virtual bronchoscopy

This technique uses data from multiple CT scans to create a three dimensional (3D) image. This allows doctors to see what is going on without having to operate.

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